Sex offender arrested at campground
August 19, 2009
El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a registered sex offender Sunday for allegedly trying to watch a girl shower in a restroom at Tahoe Valley Campground.
Kraig Smith, 54, of Sunnyvale was arrested when deputies set up an impromptu sting operation after a campground host reported a guest was contacting underage female campers, said Lt. Les Lovell.
After arriving at the campground about 3 p.m., running the man’s license plate and determining he was a registered sex offender, deputies contacted a 15-year-old female camper for help, Lovell said.
The girl agreed, with permission from her parents, to act as a decoy in a sting operation to catch the man engaged in illegal behavior, Lovell said.
With deputies keeping watch, the girl announced she was going to take a shower and entered the restroom, Lovell said. The girl then slipped out of the restroom without Smith noticing, Lovell said.
Smith, who was camping at the site next to the restroom, then went into the restroom and tried to see the girl showering by peering through a crack in a shower stall door, Lovell said.
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Deputies then arrested Smith on suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for allegedly loitering around a public toilet for the purpose of engaging in a unlawful act.
Smith was booked into El Dorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe. El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Kingsbury set Smith’s bail at $100,000, Lovell said.
Deputies believe Smith may have visited other campgrounds and day use areas in the South Lake Tahoe area, and the sheriff’s office is seeking assistance from anyone in the community who may have witnessed or experienced a similar situation involving Smith, Lovell said.
At the time of his arrest, Smith drove a white Toyota Tundra pickup with a camper shell and possessed a small Chihuahua dog that he utilized as a topic of discussion with juvenile females, Lovell said.
The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information to call Secret Witness at (530) 544-6767 or Detective Matt Harwood at (530) 573-3015.
– A driver sustained minor injuries after driving off Kingsbury Grade about 10 a.m. Saturday.
The vehicle went about 100 yards down the embankment after the driver turned right at a left-hand curve in the road and broke through the guard rail, said Douglas County Sgt. Joe Duffy.
Duffy said the driver, who was the lone occupant of the vehicle, had a blood alcohol level of .10 percent, above the legal limit of .08 percent.
– The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the intentional killing of two kittens in Placerville last week.
The dead kittens were found in front of Animal Services’ shelter on Placerville Drive the morning of Aug. 12, according to a statement from El Dorado County.
“It is appalling and distressing that these kittens had to suffer such a horrific death,” Lt. Warren Candler, supervising animal services officer, said in the statement. “We are concerned about the seriousness of this crime against animals and are actively collecting evidence.”
A veterinarian examined the kittens shortly after they were found. The kittens were about four months old and appeared to have been restrained, tortured and beaten to death, according to the statement.
Anyone with information about the deaths of the two kittens is asked to call Animal Services Officer Heather Gildersleeve at (530) 621-7641.
– Tribune staff writer Sara Thompson contributed to this report.